This is a class with two goals:

  1. build an exhibit (as a group) that encourages strangers to talk to each other
  2. design a social media plan (as an individual) for a museum exhibit, program, or initiative

That’s it.  Do that, and you win.

Here’s the fancier overview:

Social technology is a term that describes tools that enable people to create content, share it with others, modify it, and talk about it.  While it is typically associated with online platforms like Flickr and YouTube, the general design principles of digital social technologies can be applied to real-world spaces like museums, zoos, and libraries.

In this course, we will explore the basics of social technology both on the Web and in the real world.  The course will be organized around two main projects—a group project to create a social, participatory exhibition, and an individual project to create an online social media plan for a museum program or exhibit.

This course does not require prior experience with online social media platforms; however, it does require a willingness to engage in both real and Web-based social platforms.  Students will be required to blog, maintain open social media accounts, and talk to strangers in the real world.  For the large group project, students will be actually constructing an exhibition and will all be expected to contribute creatively, physically, and intellectually to its installation.

Because of the unusual course schedule, students must be personally motivated and will be expected to do a great deal of work without supervision.  Students must be able to meet personal milestones in advance of in-person sessions or the class will not be able to complete the group project.

Students should be aware in advance that it is likely they will need to block off the entire weekend of June 6-7 for the production and facilitation of the exhibition component of this course.